THE biennial Four Winds Festival is on of the joys of our extended region and a choice destination for Canberra’s classical music lovers.
Held every two years in a natural bush amphitheatre just south of Bermagui, the festival is growing fast and its board has today announced the appointment of David Francis as the organisation’s first executive director.
Four Winds chair Sheena Boughen said she believed Francis would enrich Four Winds’ ‘iconic’ place in Australia’s musical life, while Francis said, “With remarkable performance facilities in a stunning natural setting, Four Winds is now able to present inspiring music all year round,” adding that he would ensure that Four Winds both engaged with the local community and, using digital technology, reached to people from all over Australia.
Francis, originally from Britain, developed and launched the ‘PRS for Music Foundation’, and also led the team to create ‘Sound and Music’: the UK’s peak body for new music and sonic art. Before moving to Australia to become GM of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Limited, he was director of arts at Dartington in the UK: a rural centre where the arts, sustainability and social justice come together. He is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Clore Leadership Programme, and holds a post-graduate diploma in Vocal Studies from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
On commencing with Four Winds in mid-September, Francis plans to move to the Bermagui region, together with his partner and their two whippets. He will work with artistic director Paul Dean and executive producer Yarmila Alfonzetti.
A local note: Canberra’s Griffyn Ensemble will present “The Dirty Red Digger” in the Windsong Pavilion on Friday, July 3 at 7:30pm, bookings to iwannaticket.com.au
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Ian Meikle, editor